Ms. Mubaraka Fanuswala is one such passionate teacher and the Primary Section Head of the English Department at the Diamond Jubilee High School, Mumbai (DJHSM), managed by the Aga Khan Education Service, India (AKES,I). AKES,I has been ranked amongst the country’s top 10 most respected education and early childhood education brands by EducationWorld India.
“Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.”
- Joyce Meyer
A DJHSM teacher since 2016, Ms. Mubaraka believes in making the ordinary come alive by curating unforgettable experiences for her students. Her guide throughout this teaching and learning adventure has been the “humble lesson plan”, she said.
When creating lesson plans, Ms. Mubaraka creatively stitches together content from various academic sources. She recognises the importance of this living document, which outlines the learning goals and pedagogy to help students achieve excellence in their school work.
In April 2021, Ms. Mubaraka was selected to receive an Award of Excellence by the Centre of Assessments for Excellence (COAE) Global Awards for Virtual Learning & Lesson Planning 2021 at the primary school level for one of her lesson plans. COAE received over 2,000 lesson plans from teachers across India at pre-primary, primary and middle school level.
Unlike standard lesson plans, Ms. Mubaraka’s award-winning lesson plan for teaching students about the poem “The Circus Elephant” by Kathryn Worth, did not just focus on the literal meaning of the words. Instead, it encouraged students to think critically about the pain and torture that circus animals endure for the entertainment of human beings. Ms. Mubaraka’s lesson plan also urged the students to empathise with the elephant and understand its point of view. Ms. Mubaraka commented, “I was thrilled that the lesson plan I created was selected. Recognising that lesson plans are an important part of the teaching and learning process, AKES,I regularly conducts workshops that introduce teachers to new techniques used across the globe, which have helped me to develop creative lesson plans. These plans allow learners and peer educators to plan engaging sessions that will help students ask questions, interact, tap background knowledge and retain more of what they learn.”
The professional development opportunities offered by AKES,I such as a workshop by the British Council, Book Circle meetings and Grammar in Everyday Life sessions, coupled with her passion for researching unconventional teaching methods, supported Ms. Mubaraka in achieving this feat.
Mrs. Asiya Kazi, a parent, extended her heartfelt gratitude to Ms. Mubaraka. “Thank you for inspiring the students to learn. We will always be grateful for the hard work and dedication you put in to ensure our students have a unique experience in the classroom.” she said. Master Arkam Kazi, a Grade 5 student remarked, “You have worked so hard in shaping me into the student I am today. I thank you for being an amazing teacher and for all your great lessons. You inspire me daily to work towards excellence and strive hard to attain my goals.”
Lesson planning is the backbone of a quality lesson. Every lesson reinforces a teacher’s love of imparting knowledge and shaping minds in a world that highly values education. Ms. Mubaraka and her colleagues at AKES,I have made excellence a habit, one lesson plan at a time!
Photos (top to bottom):
- Ms. Mubaraka playing a game with some of her students at the school (photo taken prior to Covid-19).
- The certificate received by Ms. Mubaraka for the award for her lesson plan.